Biographies for Soldiers
Grover B. Proctor was a part of the 87th Infantry Division, he had transferred to Camp Howze in November of 1944 to complete his training before heading overseas to Europe. During his time at Camp Howze, his wife Ruth, was able to join him for a short period of time at the camp before he shipped off. During Proctor’s time in the European theater he was a part of conflicts such as The Battle of the Bulge and the Siegfried line. By the end of his service, Proctor had received honors such as The Presidential Unit Citation, The Bronze Star Medal, and The Purple Heart which he received after being injured in battle near Olzheim.
Captain V.L. Auld was a member of the 84th Infantry Division, during his time at Camp Howze he worked as a battalion air officer and went through several different field exercises with his division. After completing his training Auld found himself heading to England in September of 1944 to join the fight on the European Theatre. During his time in Europe he was a part of several conflicts including one of the largest offensive fronts in the American campaign; the Battle of the Bulge. By the end of his service Captain Auld had completed 123 missions and earned three air medals.
Frank J. Waldeck was a platoon sergeant in the 103rd Infantry Division. While a student at the University of Notre Dame, Waldeck signed up for the Enlisted Reserve Corps and was called up for active duty in 1943. He went first to Camp Wheeler in Georgia for basic training. Then, Waldeck was accepted for pilot training and transferred to Miami Beach, Florida. He was only there a short time before the Army decided it needed more members of the infantry rather than pilots, so Waldeck next found himself at Camp Howze in Gainesville, Texas. From there, he shipped off to serve in the European Theater of the war experiencing his first combat in St. Die, France. He also saw action in the Vosges Mountains and the Battle of the Bulge. He earned the Bronze Star Medal for a voluntary mission in March 1945 delivering a message through enemy territory in Germany, which was documented in Army Private First Class Carl Reed’s book, My WWII as I Recall. Listen to Waldeck talk about his service in his own words as well as his daughter and son-in-law Mary and Joe McMahon share about their memories of him and volunteering with the 103rd Infantry Division of World War II Association.
Roger Anderson served as a member of the 103rd Infantry Division. By the time Anderson had reached Camp Howze he had been through much of his training and had attended several different military camps prior. But he stated that Camp Howze was different from the rest; “Every aspect of the training seemed much more serious–and it was. Everyone paid a lot closer attention to instructions. What we learned now might someday save our lives.” (Anderson). Anderson continued with the 103rd for the rest of his service, he fought with them through The Battle of the Bulge, the Siegfried Line, and helped take control over Austria. At the end of the European conflict Anderson was sent back to the States to be redirected to the Pacific. That was until the fighting ceased in the Pacific and Anderson was spared having to fight in a second front.
Robert E. Hahn was drafted at the age of 18, he started off by attending several universities to attend the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). He was only a part of the ASTP for about six months when it was dissolved and all the recruits called to active duty. From there Hahn was sent to Camp Howze where he joined up with the 103rd Infantry Division. He was initially assigned to the heavy weapons division until the higher ups learned that he spoke German well, from there he was sent to the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon. Along with the rest of the 103rd Infantry Division, Hahn found himself on the European front. Hahn along with the rest of the 103rd eventually found themselves at The Battle of the Bulge around Christmas time. Hahn had something interesting to say about fighting around Christmas time; “We were poised to put an offensive into that town. We thought about this being Christmas Eve night and that we shouldn’t be killing anyone on that night. So, nobody came up that valley from the German side and we didn’t go down there because we didn’t want to wreck Christmas.” (Hahn). On July 5th, 1945, Hahn was transferred to the 45th Infantry Division and set to male his way to the Pacific front. But before that could happen the fighting ended with Japan’s surrender. Hahn was then later discharged on his birthday, January 17, 1946.